Updated: Sep 20
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙢𝙖𝙣’𝙨 𝙇𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 - 𝘿𝙤𝙢 𝙋𝙞𝙥𝙚𝙧
Charles plays a word game…
Justice. It’s a funny thing. We say it’s not revenge. We say it’s not. We say things like “They can’t get away with this. It’s just not right”. And we’re right in saying this. If wrong has been committed, the wrongdoer should go back in time and undo their wrong. But since we don’t yet have time machines, we have to deal with it another way. Punishment by beating…? No no no. We are a civilised society. Or so I am told. Ask them politely not to do it again? “Say you promise”… Unlikely to work. So prison then. But what if their crime is so much worse than, say, stealing a car, or even high level fraud? Say it’s something like… MURDER!! Well, it’s the chair for you. At least in some states. But in Britain, we have no such punishment. Prison for theft, prison for murder. Just simply more time. In fact, in Britain the last execution was 60 years ago next year. Now THAT’S a cheery thought! Who says I don't bring you joy. Let’s go back to the “good old days” of the 19th Century and further…
The death penalty was very much in full vigour. In fact, it was how a great deal of the population got its kicks! No no, we’re not back to the kicking and beating. I mean, it was a spectacle. People seemed to have a more morbid sense of fun back then. Well, they didn’t have TikTok, you see. Actually, I can’t think which is worse. Watching someone die, or watching an hour of TikTok. Close call! Anyway. They gathered in the town square to watch the execution of a bad man. Or, at least, a man who was thought to be bad. Evidence was moot back then… I say MAN, but it easily could also have been a woman - #themtoo.
The gallows stands tall and vacant, waiting silently for its next victim to devour. This simple wooden structure with one use. One purpose. To end life. But can we really put so much emphasis on a few timber beams…? Surely IT is not capable of such an endeavour… Well, it is NOT. Not alone anyway. It all comes down to one man. One man who kills for a living. Oh the irony! One killer is bad, while the other is good. Justice, you see? Not revenge at all! Sure. But if the man (or woman) on death row has a problem with that, he/she should have thought about that before he/she… oh never mind. Let us not think of the hangee, but of the hanger. The hangman is not a popular lad. He probably has few friends. How comfortable would YOU be being friends with someone who kills for a living…? And what kind of person chooses to DO that?? I mean, I’m sure he’s very good at it, but imagine that CV for a future employer. “Have you any skills?”… It’s just not very appealing. These days we speak much about mental health. Soldiers have long gone through PTSD for their time in battle. What they have witnessed. What they have DONE!! But this is the nature of war. A sad truth, but much like the justice system, we cannot simply ask not to be attacked. One has to fight back. Again, a sad truth. But when it comes to this shunned member of society; this lonely legal killer, there is no war. The criminal has been caught. He is simply there to carry out justice. Can you imagine the mess of his mind? Spaghetti with knots! Knots pulling tighter and tighter until each strand severs, making the whole thing look more like chicken noodle soup. This mind is wrecked and ruined. Without aforementioned time machine, it is impossible to fix. And yet, is he perhaps proud? Job done - NEXT! He does it well. This doesn’t however make it any less painful. Maybe even worse! Sure, someone’s got to do it. “But why me?”, he pleads in desperation. Well, because at some point, you were close to death yourself, and needed the money. That’s why. Kill or die, that was the option. And so he killed and killed again. Now, he lives to tell the gruesome tale.
Permit me to introduce the hangman himself. He used to be a grenade (grenade, grenade), and before that he was a little odd. While still being a little odd, he seems to have settled into the world of art. It suits his novelistic mind. Like me, he finds fiction more interesting than real life. To be an artist is to be a god. Dom Piper has morphed from being a little odd, to being a little god. Because, in art, you can do ANYthing. ANYthing can happen. You can’t do this in real life. All one needs for such wonder is observation and imagination. The rest will simply come. But observation and imagination are not as usual as you might expect. And to have the magical strain of creativity that Dom looks after and feeds from time to time, is something that I rarely come across. Dom sets the scene. He is more a director. For me, he is the Ennio Morricone of pop music. With a dash of Tarantino hot sauce. I say director, because the director doesn’t do everything himself. The director has a vision. And by all means necessary, he will get there. His co-producer, Micky Waters (of megastar rock band The Answer) is the one who helps him achieve this vision. Through Clint-like beady eyes, I will bring that vision to yours.
Such morbid scenes I personally only envision in grotty wet manure strewn London, and the Wild West. Dom takes us to the latter. So let us leave Jack the Ripper to go about his business in stale olde London, as we go in search of drier air. This is not the black and white John Wayne/James Stewart style scene, but the Technicolor world of the Spaghetti Westerns. Two mentions of spaghetti this week - I must still be in a daze from last week. You’re the good, he’s the bad, and I’m the ugly (huh - typical). It’s dusty. It’s dry. It’s hot. The squint is not only necessary to look menacing, but an attempt to shield your eyes from the sand. For the sake of this vision, let’s just say the attempt is successful, or the image is broken and the protagonist looks less like Clint Eastwood, and more like Jack Lemmon. Which we don’t want. A poster has been nailed up by the door of the saloon. It reads “Execution outside Town Hall, tomorrow, noon”. Its corners, whipped by the rough wind, are the only sound to be heard in this town. It seems deserted. But upon further observation, a man sits at a balcony overlooking the entrance of the saloon. His hat is pulled down over his eyes, as he slowly peels an apple with a pocket knife. His fingers are rough and used. Their coarseness feels nothing. He is waiting. Waiting to carry out his duty. “Tomorrow, I will kill a man. A man I’ve never met”, he says gruffly from beneath his brim. But from all this static thoughtfulness, he leaps up and throws the half-peeled apple through the window of a room above the saloon with such ferocious anger, the town begins to stir. The barkeep launches out, throwing both doors asunder, and looks up. He is shouting at the man on the balcony. The barman knows it was him. But all the hatted chap does is slowly push his brim upwards so as to reveal his eyes. The barman flinches and quietly goes on back inside from whence he came. You see, no one likes this man on the balcony. But no one would dare get on the wrong side of a killer. This rough-fingered man is troubled trouble. But the heat is too much: he starts to snooze. What feels to him like minutes later, he screams and jumps up from his chair. It is the next day. 11.30am, to be precise. He splashes some water on his face, and clumsily stabs himself in the ankle with a rogue spur while stumbling down the slatted stairs. He has a duty. The time has come.
The church bell tolls so as to start the proceedings. The town’s death junkies swarm like dehydrated flies, as the men with guns start to moan their morbid woes with morbid woahs. The harmonicas wail in the wind as the dust starts to blow. The bell tolls once more as the guilty man is brought out for the public to vent, jeer, laugh and spit on. One girl is further away from the excitement. She sobs and pleads to no one, grasping the air with arthritic knuckles. No one even notices, and neither would they care. The wind drops as if having been switched off. The criminal’s face is obscured with a bag-shaped rag. The rope is held by hands that know it well. These hands that do without thought. These hands so fit for purpose, so much it hurts, but not for long. This rough-fingered man remains unmoved and unmoving as a scroll is read by the town crier for all to hear. DEATH is all that is left to come. Just death. And come it does, within a moment. The deed is done. This professional killer clears his throat, steps down from his platform and slowly walks back to his perch overlooking the saloon. A fresh poster replaces the old. He peels an apple, takes a bite and looks out to the gallows. “Tomorrow, I will kill a man. A man I’ve never met”. He then hangs his hat.
So there you have it! Dom did this to me. He made this in my mind. This is the power of art. Imagination breeds imagination. It is rare for a writer to describe every single detail of every single aspect of everything. Those books are usually very dull, longwinded and lacking in plot. But when one is given SOME aspects, our minds fill in the gaps. Or, you could simply listen to his song and think, “that was a wicked song”. Either way, you’ll be content once you’ve pressed play. It is sumptuous. Thick, full, rich and heavy.
The next time you w_nt to str_ngle someone, h_ng your he_d in sh_me.
Listen to 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙢𝙖𝙣’𝙨 𝙇𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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